Beatrice Falcucci, Omar Al-Mukhtar’s Glasses: A Modern Relic

By |2021-02-09T15:43:48+00:00October 22nd, 2020|Research in Progress|

The aim of this brief document is to draw attention not only to totemic, highly symbolic objects and curiosa as three-dimensional evidence, but also to value hoaxes, forgeries and copies, which can be as interesting for researchers as the originals themselves, since, as Schlebecker (1977) pointed out, a replica can sometimes effectively substitute the “real thing”. Starting from Omar Al Mukthar's glasses (with which he was typically portrayed), stored in the warehouse housing the former Museo Coloniale of Rome, I will consider their “appearances” (in museums and shops) and evocations (on paper, in movies) in different contexts and scenarios, as they multiply like a modern-day relic. This short piece will also contribute to highlighting the extent to which the flow of (real or presumed) objects across the Mediterranean is deeply entangled in empire-building, nationalist reactions and postcolonial contestations. Omar Al-Mukhtar (18581931) is known as the martyr who sacrificed his life while trying to free Libya from Italian colonialism. On 3 October 1911, as the Italians bombarded Tripoli in the first act of what was to be known as the Italo-Turkish [...]

Claudia Stella Valeria Geremia, The Spanish Inquisition in the Canary Islands and Objects of Witchcraft (15th-18th centuries)

By |2021-02-09T15:44:41+00:00May 25th, 2020|Research in Progress|

This research aims to study traditional practices of witchcraft and the circulation of witchcraft objects by examining the trial records of the Spanish Inquisition in the Canary Islands from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century. The purpose is to focus on the cultural melting pot of the Canaries, where the so-called magic ritual practices of enslaved African people, coming from Maghreb and West Africa, merged with those of the indigenous people, also known as the Guanches, and the conversos. My research explores how people accused of being witches and wizards reused, replaced, and reconfigured the use of daily objects to perform magic rituals. Ordinary objects, such as scissors, mirrors, stones, and bags, became tools of magic in the hands of a witch. Inquisitors were often astonished when they found these items in the houses of people accused of being a witch. My hypothesis is that when the witch uses and puts into motion such objects, power and authority is conferred upon her. In other words, it is the relationship between the woman and how she uses the objects that makes [...]

José María Pérez Fernández, Turcimanarie e carte d’ogni sorte: Translation, Trade, and Paper in Sixteenth Century Venice

By |2021-02-09T15:46:41+00:00May 11th, 2020|Research in Progress|

The heading of Riccardiana MS 2523 proclaims its nature as a record of prices and tariffs for merchants and goods trading with Damasco and the rest of Siria. This manuscript was one of the items on display in a recent exhibition organized by our PIMo COST Action at the Biblioteca Riccardiana in Florence (“Encounters at Sea: People, Paper, and Objects in Motion at the Riccardiana Library”). Dated on November 25th 1534, the tariffa was put together under the supervision of patricians who belonged to some of the most prominent Venetian families.   Tarriffa | di tutto quello si deue | mettere a conto alli ma[rca]| danti, et marcantie, si[a] | in Damasco, come in tutta | la Soria R[i]formata p[er] | il Clmo M. Piero Molino, | cons.  Insieme con li Magci  | M. Antonio Grimani fu |del magco. ms. Nico. Ms. Nico| Venier fu del mco.Ms. Ago≈|stino, et ms Vicenzo Mo≈|resini del Magco. M. Barbon | deputati, & eletti per | Conseglio, come per parte | presa appar sotto li.25.| di Nouembre.|M D XXX IIII   One of them [...]